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Black Studies Center Opens At The University Of Wyoming

Dr. Fredrick Douglass Dixon

A new Black Studies Center has opened this fall at the University of Wyoming. The center aims on advancing the accurate histories of Black people and history in the state.

The center's director, Frederick Douglass Dixon, who is also an associate professor at the university, said that the idea to establish this center has been in discussion for a while.

"And, I guess the uprising of the summer made it a bit more apparent of what it would mean to the institution, and to the community," said Dixon. "So it's very simple and humbling, I think."

The uprising he's referring to is the protests that occurred after the death of George Floyd this past summer. The protests were happening across the nation, including several towns like Laramie and Riverton.

"I think there was this move to become a bit more viable, and I think the event that triggered it and kind of concretized it was the assassination of George Floyd," said Dixon.

He also added that the significance of the center will allow deeper engagement in Black studies, raise visibility and the relevance of it, directly affect present-day social issues in the country and around the world.

"It's a way to say that there is importance in African-American Studies that will allow for conversations and engagement to become part of the mainstream narrative," Dixon said. "Where we see the social atmosphere and the unrest that many would say is, a tipping point."

To introduce the community to the center's mission and goals, it will host a four-part webinar series to explain the components of Black Studies. The first one will be held this month and continue over the winter, and you can find more information about these events and dates by sending an email to Dixon at fdixon@uwyo.edu.

Naina Rao comes to Wyoming Public Radio from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism. Naina enjoys swimming, listening to podcasts and watching Bollywood movies.

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